While many of us bemoan the recent failure of CITES to initiate trade controls on bluefin tuna due to the concerted efforts of commercial tuna fishing interests, one of the strategies that we can turn to is to chip away at market demand. And one of the best ways to do that is to focus on the self-interest of the user: their own personal health.
Fish like tuna, swordfish, halibut, and others have exceedingly high levels of mercury that accumulate in their muscle and cartilage tissues, often times at levels well over recommended safe levels set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Got Mercury.org, a part of the Turtle Island Restoration Network, has just issued an investigative report where they sampled fish from 13 markets in the San Francisco area, ranging from a local Safeway to more higher end stores like Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. The fish samples were analyzed by an outside, independent laboratory - and the results were not good.
Over 40% of the fish had high levels of mercury (one sample registered over twice the EPA limit). Some of the stores had signs warning of possible mercury contamination; many stores did not. Click here to read the entire report.
Organizations like Got Mercury.org and media like "The Cove" are using a strategy which takes the position that if you don't care about the fate of the animal, at least consider what you are doing to yourself and your children. Perhaps a sad commentary on the attitudes of some regarding conservation, but in my book, whatever gets the job done.
Congrats to Got Mercury.org for telling it like it is.
Read more about Got Mercury.org. Read the entire investigative report.